Please join Forum and City College’s Creative Writing department for a night of Poetry with D.A. Powell. The reading will be held at The Mission Campus(22nd and Valencia) Room 107/108. The reading will be followed by an Open Mic with beverages and food.
For the first time ever, Forum Magazine will have a presence at Lit Crawl! Our readings will take place at the Latin American Club (3286 22nd St.) from 6pm to 7pm, and feature artists from our Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 issues including Charlotte Hull, Real Lapalme, Seth Luther, Natalie Saunders, John Silverman, and Jerome Steegmans.
If you don’t already know about it, Lit Crawl is a citywide event during which venues such as art galleries, bars, bookstores, bowling alleys, cafes, community spaces, restaurants, stores, and even police stations host simultaneous live readings around the city in just over three hours. In some cases, artists can show up to read their fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and more at these venues to live audiences from their areas. (Hint: Look for the ‘Open Mic’ listings!) So whether you’re an artist, a connoisseur of art, or both you can get something out of it. Each and every event is free, though they will be accepting donations and every little bit helps!
For more information, please follow the above link. We hope to see you there!
VICIOUS, YOU HIT ME WITH A FLOWER
-Lou Reed. “Vicious”. Transformer
by Natalie Saunders
Poetry, like an essay or any piece of writing partaking of both literary composition and a theme of nature is green literature. Poetry differs, but only slightly in it’s presentation, from other forms of literary work. Usually, poetry incorporates rhythm and metaphor, and is both song and speech. Poetry’s sonic aspect allows the author to add stress on particular words by their placement or repetition. Punctuation can also be used to add stress on particular words or syllables. What constitutes a poem? And is a nature poem the same as a green poem? My theory is green literature is a message to humanity that asks that we recognize ourselves in the text and put an end to the desecration of nature. Some poems are meant for us to marvel at nature’s beauty and not a call for action. While it may not be the author’s intention, the appreciation of the imagery in their nature poem can influence our action. Poets can document their story differently than other fiction. Similarly, short stories manifest their green agenda more concisely than a novel. The elements of fiction in poetry are not always as blatant and at times can be abstract. Still the elements of fiction: setting, character/characterization, climax, plot, and theme that we’ve seen in various forms are present in poetry as they are in other forms of literature. Structure and a theme of nature constitute green literary composition. How the author illustrates their green theme (short story, essay, poem, novel) is a matter of preference. What’s important is that we recognize our relationship with nature. In this essay are three original poems that reflect on humanity’s nature (wicked, remorseful and speculative at times about the consequences of our endless invention), in three different styles that will be explained by their inspiration and relation to green literature.
SPEAK TO ME: POETRY FROM SURVIVORS
Thursday, October 25
Cloud Hall Reading Garden
(Between Science and Cloud Halls at the Flagpole Plaza)
11 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Join us for a free public poetry reading addressing domestic and sexual violence.
Refreshments will be provided.
Persons requiring disability-related accommodations for this event should contact Disabled Student Programs and Services at (415)452-5481. Please allow for 72 hours advance notice.
For more information and/or questions, please call (415) 239-3899.
This event was made possible by your $5 student activities fee.
Sponsored by Poetry for the People and Project SURVIVE and Associated Students.
ccsf approved for positng
L’s Caffe have been kind enough to sponsor a reading/fundraiser for Forum.
Reading will be crime novelist and teacher Seth Harwood and poets Nic Alea and Aimee Suzara and possibly others (watch for updates). There will also be the usual open mic, maybe a raffle and, excitingly, the latest issue of Forum will be out so you’ll have your first chance to see (and/or purchase) the latest batch of poetry, prose and art from the CCSF community.
Thursday, May 31
2871 24th Street, SF CA
between Bryant + Florida
at 6:30 pm
Benjamin Bac Sierra author of the novel Barrio Bushido and poet Athena Kashyap whose work has appeared in Noe Valley Voice, Spork, The Fourth River and many others will be reading this coming Monday, May 7 in Visual Arts 114. There will also be standard reading fare — an open mic as well as food and drink and a raffle. Hope to see you there.
by Michael Thomson
Last monday we had our first reading for the Spring 2012 issue of Forum. If you missed it, you missed a lot. If you were there, then you know how good it was. We started the evening by enjoying the wonderful guitar stylings of CCSF instructor Steve Mayer.
In addition to the many faces, new and familiar that showed up to read and listen to poetry, and fiction, we had in attendance Dean Ms. Bob Davis. You also may have recognized from our English department, professor Ellen Wall, and Louise Nayer, former Forum advisor and the author of Burned: A Memoir.
Between the readings we raffled off a couple gift certificates to Books Inc. as well as to a local movie theatre. Also in the raffle mix were books and a Fall 2011 copy of Forum. If you stuck around you would have enjoyed SF’s local beat poet Diamond Dave showing us how it’s done with a mic. A grand time was had by all! We at Forum would like to thank all who attended and helped us raise some funds for our next issue of Forum. Last but certainly not least we’d like to thank John and Jen, our advisors for their continuing support. Stay tuned here for our next reading.
Michael Thomson is Forum‘s General Editor
Mario, one of our fiction readers did some live sketches of the event — you may have seen them on Twitter but if not, here they are.
how to say RIP | for Deoni Jones (murdered at 22 years old in DC on February 2, 2012)
by Kaylo Griot Saturday, February 4, 2012
Living in pieces
Of partial journalism
Buried wall posts
Living in pieces
That could never
Forget what should
Never have to be
I never knew you, Deoni,
But if I grew up a few miles away
We may have been friends
Maybe we met once on the red line
Waiting for the same train
Headed in the same direction
There’s nothing peaceful
In your death
Your final rest
Shouldn’t be anyway
You were still living
Living it up
Doing it up
There’s an eleven second
Man making his way
Across the intersection.
The DCPD say
It’s the guy
Who stabbed you
Is that true?
Was he the culprit,
The guy who weld the blade?
I think it’s bullshit
What they say.
I think it was the USA network
And all the other media outlets
Putting you down, leaving you out
And LGBT putting you last
I’m queer and questioning
Whether you knew
Before it happened
As legends always do
As legends always go
Did you see him coming?
Rushing you like newest wave
Of neo-nazi conservatism
Did you see your 22 years
Flashing before your eyes?
First the ones you never lived
Because of fear of worse than
Could imagine, the years
You thought of ending it
So many times.
Then the ones you lived
Despite fear of what’s imagined
The brutal hate to march through
Thick, condensed like an
Then the years to outlive you
The years you’ll never see.
I can only imagine
What you saw that night
The imagination produces
Glimpses of what your mind
Or has seen before
We’ve seen it before
And I’m surprised I even heard
People who care say “So sad,” “RIP-rest in peace”
I say fuck that!
This isn’t sad
This attack doesn’t sadden me
This ripping away of life
Another flame added
To the burning wick
To the ignition
Of a stick
When will we explode?
by Kaylo X.
Nic Alea, published in the Fall issue of Forum, wanted to readdress an issue briefly
mentioned in our interview. Nic casually responded “Hopefully not for committing
suicide” to my question “What do you want to be known for?” I appreciated the candid
answer and felt it should be brought to the public forum as it is all too often ignored and
silenced. We met prior to the release party to discuss the matter. Before the conversation
Nic read me the poem “Queer Kids,” which is available to listen to and read here on
Boeotia. My reflection of our conversation follows:
Kaylo X.: Do you have friends/people who have committed suicide?
Nic Alea: Yes. Both contemplated and succeeded. More who have contemplated which is intense in of itself.
I’d rather do many things right now besides talk about suicide, which is why I am just
typing this (weeks after meeting with Nic for the discussion). But, who really does want
to talk about it? Isn’t that the status quo of our society anyway? Don’t talk about it. My
family didn’t when my sister attempted. It isn’t a time or memory I want to think about
and so I don’t. And we heal and move on. Or do we? I shared with Nic my story of my
family surviving my sister’s survival. I find things too dreadful to speak are the ones
most imperative to be spoken for everyone’s sake. If it has happened to you, chances are
it has happened to someone else.
We didn’t talk about it that night, but Nic knows and has helped me with my own
struggles with suicidal ideation. Both queer individuals, we are familiar with
the “subliminal” message that society teaches us: destroy yourself. Or at least: you
are not worthy of a “normal,” happy life because you are less than. The word queer,
although I and many claim it as an identity, literally means strange or abnormal…kind of
weird. As a kid it was difficult to embrace such an identity for myself because of fear of
being alienated, ostracized, or even excommunicated. I am not alone in the sort of fear
and anxiety “being in the closet” brings as countless people I have spoken to and stories I
have heard speak to the dreadful experience.
Nic’s poem tackles the programmed destruction ever so eloquently. It allows the reader
or audience to vividly imagine an act of suicide in real terms. This kind of writing is
activism. It raises awareness and addresses that our ideology is controlled by the media
which promotes a culture of fear, hostility, and misguided anger—the kind of culture that
harbors lynching. In our top down society one is typically forced to choose a place, a
role, an identity. If the identity threatens, destabilizes, then it risks being destroyed and
what more convenient a way than brainwashed self-destruction.
Nic spoke of children’s malleability and the violence that exists in our language for them
to pick up on. Children, without knowing the meaning of their words, say things to each other that they have heard from some media outlet, from their parents, or other people in
their environment. A radical organization led by Fred Phelps “preaches” a message of
hate and often times with very young children as part of their pickets. The message in
three words tells so much more: “God hates fags!” When one little girl was asked if she
knew what the words meant that she was shouting along to. Her response: “no.”
Our society is indifferent to suicide. We ignore people when they’re going through
depressions. Mental illness isn’t taken seriously. Suicide is often glorified, especially in
the case of celebrities. We see famous people reach epic stardom postmortem over and
over again. Is the work of celebs who committed suicide (accidentally or not) brilliant
because they killed themselves, or would they have found as much success living? It’s a
question Nic asked me at the end of our conversation on the topic. It brings me back to
the question I asked Nic in the beginning: “do you know anyone…? Don’t you? Even if
just Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf, Romeo and Juliet, you’ve heard some tragic story
fiction or actual and so it must affect you. Each human life should matter to everyone as
we all exist together in this dimension of reality.
I recently heard news that hit me hard as such events do. A young, 22-year-old woman
was murdered in the nation’s capitol. I wrote a poem out of the anger washing over
me. The poem is called, “How to Say RIP | For Deoni Jones” and can be found here on
Boeotia as well.